Madball - "Rebellion" CD EP Review (Black N Blue) ~ BrooklynRocks: NYC Music Blog

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Madball - "Rebellion" CD EP Review (Black N Blue)

> Growing up I knew too many bands that were desperate to be signed to a major label (to steal a phrase from Steve Albini - they were “anxious to be led around by their nose rings”) and, of the bands I knew, I can’t think of one that “broke out” and actually made any money. With too many people waiting for life to happen to them, I’ve admired Freddy Madball for years for making things happen on his own – Madball has been making music on their own terms for almost 25 years, Black N Blue Productions has put on high-quality shows for the last couple years and now Freddy has branched out by releasing the new Madball EP on his new label - The Black N Blue.

This new 6-track EP, “Rebellion”, follows in the same vein as 2010’s Empire and the only real change is that drummer Jay Weinberg has been replaced by Mike Justian (x-Red Chord). For this outing, Madball is working once again with producer Erik Rutan and the new EP features four new tracks along with re-recordings of “Get Out” and “It’s My Life”, both of which were originally recorded for Madball’s 1989 debut “Ball of Destruction”.

The disc starts with "You Reap What Yow Sow" which has everything that you would expect from this classic NYHC band. The track opens with Hoya's rumbling bass and follows this with some crushing downtuned guitar riffs and fast breaks. Freddy ferociously spits out lyrics about someone who has never changed and never grew up, trading off call-and-response vocals on the chorus.

The other three new tracks follow in a similar vein. "The Beast" is about wrestling with anxiety attacks ("a beast I can't control"). Hoya's rumbling bass is again featured on "Rebellion" along with a killer mid-song breakdown and this song seems to be about standing up and taking charge. The last new song, "My Blood", is an anthemic riff-driven tribute to Freddy's son.

The two re-recorded songs, "Get Out" and "It's My Life", retain the fury of the original versions but sound immensely better. While some of this sonic improvement can be credited to producer Erik Rutan, one also has to keep in mind that Freddy has come a long way since 1989. Freddy was 12 at the time of the original recording and "Ball of Destruction" recorded in DIY fashion, live to two-track.